Friday 15 December 2017

Suspect in gang-feud hotel murder photographed in wheelchair

Kevin ‘Flat Cap’ Murray. Photo: cascadenews.co.uk
Kevin ‘Flat Cap’ Murray. Photo: cascadenews.co.uk

Ryan Nugent

Regency Hotel murder suspect Kevin 'Flat Cap' Murray has been spotted out and about in a wheelchair just weeks after a judge ruled he was too ill to stand trial.

The ruling was made because the 47-year-old's health was "deteriorating" and he was in a hospice.

Murray was seen in his hometown of Strabane in Co Tyrone at the weekend. He was pushed by a relative for 30 minutes.

He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year and has been receiving end-of-life care at the hospice.

Murray was allegedly hired by the Hutch gang for the hit on David Byrne in February 2016.

Lawyers

Just two months ago, a court heard that Murray was confined to his bed and was being fed through a tube.

A judge ruled that his rapidly deteriorating health meant he could not be extradited to the Republic of Ireland to stand trial for murder.

Murray's lawyers argued against his extradition on the grounds that he would be unlikely to stand trial given his condition. The extradition attempts were ended by Judge Patricia Smyth at Belfast Recorder's Court in May.

"I'm satisfied the only appropriate course I can take is to discharge the requested person," she said.

The court was told that Murray was being fed through a tube, had breathing difficulties and had limited power in his arms and legs. Counsel for the Irish State accepted the decision but sought a three-month adjournment in case his condition improved.

However, the judge said that, based on the doctors report earlier this year, it was clear "the requested person is dying".

She agreed that a renewed application for his extradition could be made if his condition changed.

The Regency shooting has lead to a wave of murders and attempted murders - including the deaths of two innocent fathers, Martin O'Rourke (24) and Trevor O'Neill - both of whom were shot dead in cases of mistaken identity.

A number of dissident groups, including the Real IRA and the New INLA, are believed to have taken sides and have been responsible for shootings as part of the feud.

Detectives investigating the shooting of James 'Mago' Gately - who escaped with his life when he was shot five times in May - have questioned a man with Real IRA links.

A source said: "He is a criminal but the RIRA [now the New IRA] would still be on the Hutch side of things."

Herald

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